Mark Olshaker is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, New York Times best-selling non-fiction author and critically acclaimed novelist. In his research, writing and consulting, he has worked closely with many of the nation’s leading experts in the fields of law enforcement and criminal justice, public health, disease prevention, intelligence, bio-defense and pandemic planning, and is adept at translating complex issues of science, medicine and law for the general public.
The books he has written with John Douglas, beginning with MINDHUNTER, have sold millions of copies, been translated into many languages and, along with his Emmy-nominated film, Mind of a Serial Killer, for the PBS series NOVA, made Olshaker a sought-after speaker and consultant on criminal justice and victims’ rights issues.
He and Douglas cowrote the lead chapter for the textbook FORENSIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE, published in 2001 by Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, recently revised for the second edition.His and Douglas’s next book, LAW & DISORDER, concerning failures of the criminal justice system, will be published in 2013. Their newest program for NOVA, Who Killed Lindbergh’s Baby?, was also broadcast in 2013.
Olshaker is the author of the highly praised novels EINSTEIN’S BRAIN, UNNATURAL CAUSES, BLOOD RACE, THE EDGE and BROKEN WINGS. The San Diego Union praised EINSTEIN’S BRAIN as “Fantastic! Here is high adventure. . . a well-told novel which keeps the reader in a state of excitement.” Kirkus Reviews described UNNATURAL CAUSES as a ”First-class thriller,” with a story that “grips like a racing high fever.” Publishers Weekly called THE EDGE “fiendishly disturbing” and “a darkly imagined thriller marked by brisk action and a mind-bending denouement.” John Barkham called it “one of the most exciting of the year as well as one of the most ingenious.”
Olshaker also has extensive experience with the other field of life-and-death detective work: medical mystery. His research with the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRID) led to his novel UNNATURAL CAUSES and nonfiction book VIRUS HUNTER (with C.J. Peters, M.D., then CDC Chief of Special Pathogens) and the PBS programs What’s Killing the Children? Bioterror: Dealing With a New Reality, Avoiding Armageddon and Anatomy of a Pandemic, as well as an expertise in public health information and medical crisis management. The New York Times placed VIRUS HUNTER on its Noteworthy and Recommended lists and The New England Journal of Medicine compared it to Paul de Kruif’s celebrated Microbe Hunters, declaring that the book “is not merely the exhilarating tale of three decades of scientific research. It is also an outspoken, comprehensive analysis of the political and human issues that front-line scientists fighting outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever deal with daily.”
Olshaker is a consultant to the U.S. Justice Department Office for Victims of Crime and has served as a consultant to the National Library of Medicine.
He began his career at the Washington Bureau of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and has written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsday, The Washington Times, New Times and Washingtonian. In addition to his work on criminal justice and public health, he has written and produced documentary films across a wide variety of subjects, including history, architecture, science, medicine and drama. He wrote, produced and directed Discovering Hamlet, a behind-the-scenes look at the mounting of an innovative production of Hamlet, perhaps the greatest literary murder mystery of all time. It featured Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Kenneth Branagh.
Olshaker’s biography appears in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. He is President of the Norman Mailer Society, past Chairman of the Cosmos Club Foundation and serves on the boards of the Shakespeare Guild of America and the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation.
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